Who is Digna Abello? Miami Beach Appoints First Female Fire Chief

It’s a historic moment in the City of Miami Beach as they welcome the new fire chief.

After dedicating 19 years to the Miami Beach Fire Department, Digna Abello has now been appointed the 14th fire chief and notably the first female fire chief in the county.

While giving her acceptance speech, the new fire chief said, “Today I said, before you with the most gratitude and profound humility, as I accept the appointment as the 14th fire chief of Miami Beach”.

Abello, who served as the Deputy Chief, will replace outgoing Chief Virgil Fernandez, who dedicated 42 years to Miami and Hollywood.

Following his legacy, Abello is set to continue the proud service to the city.

“This city doesn’t discriminate, doesn’t look at who you are, where you’re from and we all have that same equal opportunity to drive and succeed,” shared Abello.

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Digna Abello has a Bachelor’s in emergency management from Barry University and a host of certifications under her belt.

She’s a certified fire inspector, fire officer, and fire instructor, holds a National Fire Academy leadership certification, and incident command system certification, and is an accredited manager by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.


In the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, Abello led the charge on her department’s all-encompassing response strategy, crafting essential operating procedures and teaming up with top health agencies.

Her standout move? Rolling out a game-changing vaccination program that got shots into the arms of over 13,000 vulnerable locals.

On top of that, she managed the city’s Public Safety Communications Unit, handling every single 911 call and earning a rare triple accreditation from the International Academy of Emergency Dispatchers—a distinction shared by only 12 other organizations worldwide.

Chief Fernandez is scheduled to step down officially on July 1st.

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